Mickey Mantle’s family has come out swinging about the corked bat with the Hall of Fame outfielder’s name on the label that Grey Flannel Auctions was planning to sell next month. Mantle’s sons, David and Danny, issued a statement Monday, saying “no effort will be spared to preserve Mickey Mantle’s well-deserved legacy for honesty, fairness and supreme effort in the face of physical adversity that most players would not have been able to overcome”.
Grey Flannel planned to sell the 1960’s era bat, which it said has been in the hands of a long-time collector for many years and was recently consigned to the company’s next catalog auction. However, the bat was removed from the Grey Flannel website sometime in the last couple of days. The bat has been examined by PSA/DNA authenticator John Taube who has provided x-rays that clearly show cork inside the barrel of the bat. Evidence hasn’t yet been presented that would prove when the cork entered the bat, let alone whether Mantle used the bat in a game. The Mantle family said it had requested information on the bat’s provenance and the right to do its own examination but claims the auction house hasn’t responded.
There was no immediate word from Grey Flannel as to what, if any, action it may take with regard to the Mantle family’s statements or whether it planned to fight the family’s contention that it “promoted an outrageously false, misleading and deceptive claim, apparently for a quick buck and publicity”.
“We no longer can remain silent,” Mantle’s children stated through the family’s business. “The statements and suggestions that Dad used a corked bat more than 49 years ago to cheat at the game he worshipped are false. Let us be clear: Dad didn’t need and never used a corked bat. Mickey Mantle was honest about the way he played the game that he loved and to which he devoted his professional life. He was one of the best who ever played the game because of his natural talents and abilities – and his heart. Our Dad’s legacy must be protected and the injury to his reputation must be corrected – he does not deserve to be the subject of these outrageous fabrications.”
The Mantle Family, through Mantle I.P. Holdings, Ltd, has retained the law firm of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP to “advise the Family of its rights, interests and remedies”, according to a news release.
Jonathan Halpern, a partner in Bracewell & Giuliani’s New York Office, issued the following statement:
“Following Bracewell & Giuliani’s intervention, on May 9th, the on-line marketer informed us that it had withdrawn the bat from sale and also had removed the bat (and related photos and statements from its web site). The marketer has made no mention on its web site of the bat’s removal from the site or the auction sale. The family has made several straightforward, common sense authenticity requests, including the right to review the purported bases for the claim; the chain of custody of the bat’s owner(s); and the right for forensic analysis and independent third-party examination. To date, we have received no response to these requests. We will continue to pursue a correction of the false claims and suggestions, vindication of Mickey Mantle’s integrity in the game and restoration of his rightful legacy.”
“This all stops now,” the Mantle family stated. “We love and are proud of our Dad. Because he can no longer defend himself, we will do it for him.”